The Marriage of a 19th century Painting and Frame


The 21st Century Marriage of a 19th Century Painting and Frame

A Question of Engagement

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Our client arrived with this beautiful antique portrait and a 19th-century gilded frame that they purchased from an antique store.

At first glance it seemed to be the perfect match, however, the portrait width and height did not match the frame.

The portrait was also stretched onto an underbuilt, weak strainer. We needed to figure out how to preserve the integrity of both pieces, yet pair them for a harmonious presentation.



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The Treatment 

The painting was carefully stretched onto a new stretcher.  The painting was cleaned, and the paint layer stabilized. 

The antique frame was surface cleaned, and the lifting areas of the gilded surface were consolidated.  The areas of loss ornamentation were replaced with casts made from other areas on the frame. The recreated areas were then gilded and toned to emulate age. 

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The Adaptation of the Frame

A series of three gilded small frame liners (fillets) were cut and installed to reduce the sight size (window opening) of the frame. When selecting and designing the layout of the fillets, great care was paid to emulate the aged frame finish and the historic design of the frame. The interior of the frame was built out to support the painting within.  A moisture-resistant backing board was installed on the back of the painting.

Together Forever

With the careful attention to the modified design to marry the two pieces, one would assume that these have been together for generations. Now that these two beautiful nineteenth-century pieces now united, their historical presentation should elegantly withstand the test of time.

Contact us to learn more about how we can creatively assist with your conservation or framing project at 


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